NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A person familiar with the move says the Tennessee Titans will be releasing seven-time Pro Bowl wide receiver Julio Jones in a move to clear salary cap space.
Jones will be designated as a post-June 1 release with the Titans carrying the cap hit until June 1. That's according to the person who spoke to The Associated Press on Wednesday on the condition of anonymity because the move has not been announced.
ESPN first reported the move.
The Titans traded for Jones last June in a move that gave Atlanta salary cap space. Tennessee needed another top wide receiver to pair with A.J. Brown, but Jones started only 11 games, counting the postseason. Jones finished with a career-low 31 catches for 434 yards and one touchdown.
That ranked Jones fourth in catches on the Titans and third in yards. The lone touchdown came in the regular- season finale.
Brown thanked Jones in a post on social media for teaching him a lot in a short period of time and being grateful to be a part of the veteran's journey.
“You’re the reason why I started to begin to play this game,” Brown wrote. “HOF receiver is what you are and what I strive to be one day. Thank you, I’ll take it from here! Salute!”
Jones is the fifth player to be released by the Titans, who had to create space not only before the new league year started Wednesday and to keep outside linebacker Harold Landry and center Ben Jones off the free agent market.
Those deals are cap friendly costing the Titans only $8.4 million this season. Spotrac.com estimated the Titans with $720,675 of cap space. The Titans still need to upgrade their wide receiving group and find a No. 1 tight end among other needs.
Jones, who turned 33 in February, came to Tennessee having averaged 95.5 yards receiving per game through 135 games, tops in NFL history. Only Pro Football Hall of Fame receiver Randy Moss (15.6) averaged more yards per catch than Jones (15.2) among NFL players with at least 848 receptions.
Jones set Atlanta records with 848 catches for 12,896 yards, and his 60 touchdowns ranked second. He had a career-best 136 catches for 1,871 yards in 2015. That hamstring injury snapped a streak of six straight seasons with more than 1,300 yards receiving.
Tennessee reworked quarterback Ryan Tannehill's contract to free up space for Jones. The trade also cost the Titans a second-round pick in the April draft and a fourth-round selection in 2023.
The Titans also agreed to terms with running back and special teams player Trenton Cannon, according to a person familiar with the deal who spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because the contract has not been announced.
Cannon was a sixth-round pick in 2018 out of Virginia Tech by the New York Jets, and he played 11 games last season with San Francisco after starting the season with Baltimore. The Titans will be his fifth NFL team.
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